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Arnaut Danjuma: Why Tottenham hijacked Everton deal to sign Villarreal striker

Danjuma will join a season-long loan from Villarreal, despite agreeing terms and completing a medical at Everton. The winger is believed to have had cold feet after Frank Lampard was sacked and Spurs surged.

The Dutch international, 25, was named in the Champions League squad of the season last year as Villarreal reached the semi-finals under Unai Emery.

The former Bournemouth striker, who also played in the Champions League for Club Brugge and has a year of Premier League experience with the Cherries, was equally impressive in La Liga, finishing last season with 10 goals and three assists in 23 appearances.

This season he has been limited to just six starts, partly due to injury and Emery’s move to Aston Villa in October.

As a left-winger or centre-forward who likes to take on his man, Danjuma’s arrival poses the biggest threat to Heung-min Son, whose dismal form shows no signs of slowing down. Son set up winner Harry Kane at Fulham on Monday, but it was another wavering display from the 30-year-old South Korean, whose place is already under threat from the in-form Richarlison.

Son would likely benefit from time on the bench, but the arrival of another two-footed wide striker raises questions over his long-term future.

In the immediate term, signing Danjuma could pave the way for Lucas Moura to leave this month or Bryan Gil to return to Spain.

Perhaps the bigger question, however, is whether Danjuma is truly an Antonio Conte signing or an opportunistic club affair. The Spurs boss has already demonstrated that buying players for him is risky, with Djed Spence, branded a ‘club signing’ by Conte, still awaiting his first start since a £15million summer move.

Conte is still running out of attacking options from the bench, so Danjuma immediately adds much-needed squad depth, although signing a third striker who prefers to operate from the left won’t solve the others problems with his team.


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